tv Americas Newsroom FOX News December 29, 2011 9:00am-11:00am EST
it will just be me. >> steve: no, no. not only jason wright with political derby, but mr. kelly wright. you got two mr. wrights on the show. >> clayton: tune in for the after the show show where alisyn always reveals something interesting about herself. >> alisyn: again? >> clayton: yes. gregg: a new spotlight squarely on rick santorum as he stages a ladies and gentlemen surge in iowa, just ahead of the first contest of the election season. good morning, everyone. i'm gregg jarrett in for bill hemmer here in "america's newsroom.". patti ann: i'm patti ann browne in for martha maccallum. he has been called iowa's dark horse. rick santorum has been campaigning through each of the state's 99 counties. looks like his hard work is paying off. he has gained major ground in the hawkeye state. in the latest poll he has surged into third place behind mitt romney and ron paul. gregg: the question, can he
pull off a win in iowa. jamie weinstein, editor of "the daily caller". santorum has jumped 11 points in one week alone. vaulting him within third place, striking distance from the top. do you think his strategy going to all 99 counties the last year-and-a-half, good old-fashioned retail politics is beginning to pay off and can he win iowa? >> if the latest polls are any indication looks like that strategy was pretty good. it was just a few weeks ago that santorum's lone toil in the iowa wilderness didn't seem to pay any dividends. the republican voters were dancing with gingrich. they already danced with bachmann, perry and cain. everyone seemed to be ignoring santorum. he is peaking at the right time. can he win in iowa? i'm not so sure he can win but third place is a win. that vaults him as
conservative alternative to mitt romney and places him in the spotlight and that is exactly where he wants to be. gregg: jamie, as a conservative santorum is outspoken on social issues. rich lowery in his column says santorum is not a culture warrior in it for the bombast. another conservative ann coulter, favors mitt romney claims he is soft on illegal immigration and voted against voluntary use of e-verify. she wrote about this. i will ask you about this. if santorum wins we lose on the second most important issue, illegal immigration and he will be the last republican ever to win a general election in america. hyperbole perhaps. she does seem to favor mitt romney but does ann coulter maybe have a point there? >> you have to love ann coulter. i think a bit of hyperbole there. like francis we reached end of history after the cold
war. we didn't reach end of history. if rick santorum happened to win the republican nomination, which i don't think he will not be the last republican to win nomination. george w. bush was for what you call a comprehensive immigration reform that legalize some illegals in america. gregg: right. >> rick santorum, i don't think this will end the prospects of republican presidents if you elect someone that supports that. gregg: jamie, great to see you. >> great to see you as well. patti ann: it is crunch time in iowa and the candidates are canvasing the state. we caught up with mitt romney at one of his campaign stops yesterday and asked him about the jump ahead in the latest polls. >> there are sew many polls. >> what about the latest? >> i look at all the polls. hi. >> you're up by five points, governor. is that a good thing? >> that is more encouraging than some. some have me down by five.
some have me up. who knows. we're moving upward though. that's a good sign. patti ann: there are of course two critical contests in the next 12 days, iowa and new hampshire. if romney wins both he will be the first nonincumbent republican candidate in history to win the states back-to-back. romney is holding three campaign meet and gets with voters today in iowa -- greets. gregg: big surprise. michele bachmann iowa chairman suddenly switching team. republican state senator throwing behind ron paul. sorenson making the switch hours after appearing with bachmann at an event. >> i think there we're a few days out. i think there are two tiers of candidates. i believe ron paul is in the top tier and i'm here to help him. >> you told the bachmann campaign earlier today that -- >> i'm here to talk about ron paul. i would rather not talk about the bachmann campaign.
>> so only talk is that yes or no that you -- [inaudible] >> yes. >> this is not come as surprise to them? they knew before you came? >> i have had numerous conversations with them over the last few days. gregg: bachmann is now hitting back saying sorenson defected after the paul camp offered him money to do so. ron paul's people denying that charge. patti ann: meanwhile bachmann continued her criticism of ron paul on the factor with bill o'reilly. the minnesota congresswoman says paul is too dangerous to president. >> it will not be ron paul as the nominee. that's the point. he won't be the nominee. i intend to be that nominee. we need to have a strong conservative woman who actually will do what she said. ron paul would be dangerous as a president because of his foreign policy. i have the right perspective. we're the hardest working campaign on the ground. no other candidate is going to 99 counties in just over 10 days. we're doing that. and we're seeing a lot of
people go from undecided to the michele bachmann column are. i think a lot of people are going to be shocked on january 3rd. patti ann: bachmann's poll numbers tumbling since she won the iowa straw poll this summer. she is as she said visiting all the state's 99 counties in the run-up to tuesday's caucuses. gregg: remember that fox news is america's election headquarters and your front row seat to politics. tune in for complete coverage of the iowa caucuses january 3rd, starting 6:00 p.m. eastern time. you can also log on to foxnews.com/politics to get all the latest news from the candidates and the campaign trail. patti ann: more americans were looking for jobless benefits last week. the government saying unemployment applications rose 15,000 to 381,000. that's the first increase in jobless claims in a month. fox business network anchor charles payne joins us now with the latest on this. hey, charles, what does it
mean? >> we were sort of free-falling with the initial jobless claims and it was a really a great bright spot to the market and to your point not so fast. initial jobless claims starting to creep a little bit higher. sort of a realization as we end 2011, almost all the issues that dogged us throughout this year will be with us even though we changed calendar, our job situation, our economy and what is going on in europe which is still a never ended saga that looks like it will have a real bad ending. patti ann: in fact the euro reacting right now. >> the euro is in trouble. the euro is actually beginning to collapse right now. you remember there was a big effort by the european central bank which is their version of the fed. printing money trying to create liquidity. all the banks in europe put that money and put it back on deposit with the ecb. go figure. no liquidity. they're not buying bonds. the euro is starting to crash. this is a giant problem for our markets and american
investors since the summer and it will not go away. patti ann: charles payne a happy new year to you. >> thanks a lot. patti ann: fox business network. thank you, charles, as always. gregg: let's take one more quick look at the numbers. 381,000 americans filing for first time unemployment benefits last week. when the recession began we were well below that number. when president obama took office it spiked to above 650,000. now in a healthy economy filings state at or below 375,000 applications per week. patti ann: tensions rising following iran's threat to choke off the world's oil supply. the iranian navy now saying the u.s. is not in a position to tell tehran what to do in the strait of hormuz. iran warned earlier this week it will disrupt traffic through the strait in response to new proposed sanctions from the west. the strait is a passageway for 1/6 of the world's oil supply. coming up we'll talk with
ambassador john bolton about iran's latest threat and how the u.s. should respond. gregg: a sea of mourning in north korea as thousands pay homage to the late dear leader as he was called there, kim jong-il. kim's son, kim jong-un now officially named the supreme leader. the move coming after days of speculation what sort of a role he might play in the transition. greg palkot is streaming live from seoul, south korea with more. greg, what happened today and what does it all mean? >> reporter: gregg, it was billed as a memorial to kim jong-il but it was actually just confirming that his son, kim jong-un is the new boss. it happened in the place named after the new leader's grandfather, kim il sung square. where we first saw the guy last year where hundreds of thousands were today. a top official of the north korea regime proclaimed publicly for the first time that the young
man is the supreme leader of the party, the military and the people t was declared the transfer of power, i'm quoting here, completely resolved succession and people were called on to solidify behind the leadership. by the way, gregg, we looked very hard at all the video coming out of north korean state television. not any crying seen today. gregg: ah, a change. look, greg, now that all the ceremonies are over, where does it go from here? >> reporter: gregg, that's the thing. now the young man has got to run the place and that is no easy task. by all indications the country will be run by committee at least for the next couple of years. kim jong-un's aunt and uncle should play a key role as well as other civilian and other military officials. all of them were up on the dais today. the trick is there are huge challenges facing north korea right now. mass hunger, a stalled economy, a very dangerous nuclear and missile program and almost nonexistent
foreign relations. it would take a keen leader to maneuver through all that. all the analysts that i have been speaking to, gregg, here the current setup here in north korea is probably not up to the task and that is dangerous for south korea, for the nights, for the world. back to you. gregg: greg palkot reporting live from south korea. thank you very much. patti ann. patti ann: just some of the many stories we're following this morning in "america's newsroom." coming up newt gingrich set to pick up a new endorsement today from one of the architects of reaganomics. that economist will tell us why gingrich is his pick for president. gregg: rick perry suing the state of virginia to get on the primary ballot there and today the case goes to court. we'll have the latest. patti ann: this dog wagging his tail today after an amazing rescue from an icy river in north dakota. we'll tell you what happened are you receiving a payout from a legal settlement
gregg: newt gingrich set to open a new campaign office this morning in sioux city, iowa. the former house speaker also holding several meet and greets with voters in the buckeye state. he is also about to pick up a new endorsement. for more on that let's bring in art laffer, former economic advisor to president ronald reagan and a legend among economists and art, always great to talk to you. >> thank you, gregg. gregg: you are endorsing newt gingrich today. why are you endorsing him? >> you know, economics is my profession, gregg and i specialed in it all my life especially public policy economics. i feel sort of like a doctor in a hospital choosing which surgeon will operate on my child and you've got a bunch of good candidates out there but newt gingrich has done it before. his plan is pure and simple. supplyside reaganomics all the way in every aspect and he has done it and i think
he is the right one to save america to be very honest. gregg: art, i want to take a look at his economic plan. >> sure. gregg: here are four the main proposals in it. there are four more but these are the four main ones. >> yes. gregg: drop corporate tax rate from 35% to 12 1/2%. >> yes. gregg: end all capital-gains tax. eliminate inheritance tax and offer optional 15% flat income tax federal. but, you know, art, the nonpartisan tax policy center, you likely know this, they analyzed mr. gingrich's proposal and they concluded that these proposals would lower revenues to the government in 2015 by roughly 35%, or 1.28 trillion dollars and explode the deficits in the process. in fact senior fellow at the center described it as mind bog he will abouting. your reaction? >> i think this is just plain silly. i'm the guy who supposedly figured out how revenues come in but i'm telling you
laffer curve and tax revenues are not what government is all about. we need jobs gregg, jobs, out put, employment, production, prosperity and you can not tax and economy into prosperity. this is exactly the time we need a pro-growth agenda. not only on tax policy, on monetary policy and on regulatory policy on spending policy, all of these and if you look at that program by newt gingrich in its totality it is right on track. it is exactly what america needs now. gregg: i got to ask you this. the tax policy center says the top .1%, the wealthy would get an average tax cut of $2.3 million and their total federal tax bill would plunge from 38% to barely 10%. look, do you fear that will be demagogued by president obama as a tax cut for the rich? >> well, it may be demagogued by obama. i'm not here to give people
political strategy. what i will tell you, gregg, whenever we cut the highest tax in america, revenues from the highest taxpayers have gone up. the top 1% of taxpayers, the rich, from, excuse me from, yeah, from 1978 to 2007 have gone from paying 17 1/2% of all income tax revenues to 42 1/2%. gregg: right. >> the rich pay a lot more when they have lower tax rates because they stop hiring lawyers, accountants, defered income specialists lobbyists it is obvious it is correct. gregg: part of that is demonstrated by the famous laffer curve. newt gingrich is live on our screen. he is live in sioux city opening up an office five days before the caucus. you probably saw, art, in "the new york times", yesterday, mr. gingrich claims he was a founder of sup -- supply-side econmics. i thought you were.
in fact on tuesday in a speech mr. gingrich said, quote, he was one of the early activists who convinced ronald reagan to make it the centerpiece of his campaign. is that true? >> yes. newt gingrich was there right at the very beginning. i remember, i think he came in 78 or whatever it was and was his first time and i remember spending a lot of time with newt then arguing over issues. he was very close with jack kemp and was very involved in this whole process. there were lots of people involved. when he says a founder, i don't think he says he was the only founder. there were lots of people. jack kemp. ronald reagan, we all were very involved. i've been involved with reagan since the '60s. this man was very involved. gregg: one more quick question. >> sure, i'm sorry. gregg: compare gingrich's plan to romney's which is less aggressive. romney would drop the corporate rate to 25%. he would eliminate inheritance taxes. mr. gingrich would. and romney would end capital
gains for those individuals making under 200,000. what do you think of the romney plan? >> i think the romney plan is fine. i've gone through all 59 points. in fact he cites me in that plan as does newt in the other one on tax savings. gregg: right. >> i think his plan is fine. i think newt's is better and i think newt has delivered before. if you're going to bet on the surgeon operating on your kid that is the one you want to have. gregg: all right. >> thank you, gregg. >> art laffer, great to see you. thank you very much. >> great to see you, gregg. patti ann: u.s. is warning iran it will not allow the closing of a key passageway to oil tankers. why does iran feel safe threaten the world's economy? ambassador john bolton is straight ahead. gregg: brand new polls voters believe several of the republican presidential contenders have views similar to their own. what this means in a head-to-head match up with president obama, a fair and balanced debate
gregg: developing right now in "america's newsroom" a teenager accused of shooting an afghanistan war vet at his homecoming party leaving the soldier paralyzed from the neck down is due in court today. the 19-year-old suspect facing an attempted murder charge. china revealing its plan for the final frontier, saying it will launch space laboratories, manned spaceships and freighters in the next five years. gridlock in california's disneyland. the popular theme park shutting down. ticket sales for several hours when the holiday crowds just got too large. >> it is a little
frustrating to pay $300 for three people to go into the park and only get to ride three raids. $100 per ride almost, you know. so, i would say it wasn't worth it. gregg: that is a quick check of some of the day's headlines. patti ann? patti ann: some say presidential campaigns are all about shaking hand and kissing babies but for voters in iowa you've got a better chance much meeting your candidate on your tv. commercials now becoming a dominant force on the campaign trail but what kind of message are they sending and at what cost? steve brown is live in des moines, iowa. hi, steve. iowans have a reputation not liking negative campaigning or negative ads but that is not stopping the candidates or their surrogates, is it? >> reporter: not at all. it is getting down to crunch time. a certain amount of negative
campaigning certainly will be going with that but you can count on is seeing an awful lot of these television ads here in iowa. as far as the negative campaigns go, yes, they are on the air and yes the political secret has been out for some time. they do work. have a listen. >> everybody decries negative campaign ads but the difficulty is that they work. what they do is raise suspicions about their target, the candidate or the issue that they're attacking. >> reporter: now what we've been seeing a lot in recent days is kind of a shift from negative campaign ads to kind of focus or final closing argument sort of ads where the candidates are talking about things that they would like to do if they're the nominee and elected president. there has been a bit of a transition but plenty of negative ads for sure, patti ann. patti ann: with smaller television markets in iowa a campaign ad buy goes a long
way, doesn't it? >> reporter: it sure does. even so "the des moines register" on monday did some research and they're looking to break a record in terms of television advertising buys in a down market. up over $10 million worth of ads airing out here. there are a lot of television markets out here. $200,000 buy might not get you much in new york city. it gets you awful lot of airplay out here. lot of campaigns are paying millions to run campaign ads. you can't watch television very long without seeing a few of them. patti ann. patti ann: steve brown live in des moines, thank you. gregg: coming up we have a update on rick perry's lawsuit against the state of virginia after the texas governor was left off the primary ballots there. a hearing inside a richmond federal courtroom about to take place. patti ann: plus if you thought black friday was bad, we'll tell you why church and community leaders are calling on nike and one nba legend after violent mobs
gregg: at the top of the hour in virginia there's a hearing in rick perry's lawsuit over the commonwealth's legislation laws. the presidential candidate left off virginia's primary ballot after state officials said he failed to submit enough valid signatures. peter doocy is live from washington. peter, which part of the
virginia state law is perry challenging here? >> reporter: the part where all the campaign workers who collect the 10,000 signatures you need have to be either eligible or registered voters in virginia. the perry campaign doesn't think that is very fair to out-of-state candidates with out-of-state employees the candidate himself said late last night since only romney and paul are going to be on the ballot in virginia, some republicans there might get turned off. >> when there is only two people that were able to get on the ballot that tells you there may be a structural problem in the virginia process. so it is one of the reasons we filed suit bense them. i don't want hundreds of thousands of people that are my supporters in virginia to be disenfranchised because their party mechanism is made it so hard to be on the ballot. >> reporter: back in 2008 just over 119,000 virginians voted in the gop presidential primary there. the perry campaign thinks
making several different national candidates each get 10,000 sig first is unrealistic and onerous, gregg. gregg: legally the question will be, does it create an undue burden that interferes with the candidate's first amendment rights of free speech and disenfranchises voters who have a constitutional right to vote. peter, do all the republican lawmakers in virginia support perry getting on the ballot? >> not necessarily, gregg. the chairman of the republican governors association also happens to be the governor of virginia, bob mcdonald. he basically thinks that the rules about getting 10,000 signatures and 4,000 from each congressional district were well-known so everyone should have known to follow them. the attorney general, also a republican. ken cuccinelli thinks the ballot issue is embarrassing. he wants the general assembly in virginia to change it. perry wants the court to fix
this right away. perry will not be at the courthouse in richmond today. his legal team will be. he is out in iowa doing some last minute campaigning ahead of tuesday's caucus. gregg: this would appear to be a court date to set a court date on an expedited hearing. we'll see what happens today. peter doocy, live in washington. peter, thanks very much. some context now. the state of begin i can't considered the most strict when it comes to ballot requirements. candidates, as peter mentioned, must show support across the entire state with at least 10,000 signatures but 400 in each of the state's 11 congressional districts. apart from virginia there are other difficult states. indiana, illinois, pennsylvania but they require a whole lot less ballot signatures. patti ann? patti ann: brand new polls show americans of all political stripes believe several of the republican presidential contenders have idealogical views closest to their own. the top three are jon huntsman, mitt romney and ron paul. michele bachmann furtherest
away among republicans and president obama rating lower than any of the reprbl republican candidates. gech chen hamel, executive director of public notice and christopher hahn is a former aide to senator chuck schumer and a fox news contributor. thank you both for joining us. >> thank you. >> great to be here. >> "usa today-gallup poll" the average american describes their political ideology as closest to jon huntsman with romney a close second. christopher, does this make huntsman the best candidate overall his ideology most closely matches the american people as a whole? >> you know, i have said over and over again that the most electable of the republican field is jon huntsman. unfortunately for him the republican establishment does not trust him because he had once worked for president obama in a very high capacity as am ambassador to china. that said, looking a this poll i think it is good news for president obama. considering that the republicans have been whommering him for the last
three years, calling him a socialist and now americans feel he is less liberal than they did four years ago. so i think it is really good news for the president. at the end of the day it is the middle of the road that will decide this election and republicans on the right find them closely aligned with guys like rick santorum who are so far out of the mainstream their own state wouldn't reelect them they found rick santorum far too conservative. so i'm very excited about this poll. patti ann: gretchen, good news for obama. what it says among all americans, democrat and republican, barack obama was rated as having ideology furtherest away from their own behind every single republican candidate. >> that was great spin but i don't buy it. the furtherest away from their views. but at end of the day sometimes not always about ideology. it is about who you want to have a beer with. who you want to sit down at the table to have a conversation with. president obama is very liked by a lot of folks but
at the end of the day he is running on a record. these republicans are not running on their record as president and they're running in where there is a down economy, where there is high unemployment. 76% of the american people list the debt as one of their top concerns. and you have a president who wants more spending. so i don't know if his values and his views on politics and the world and policies is matching up with a lot americans. that's what we're going to see play out here in 2012. patti ann: gretchen, following up on what christopher said also, among republicans huntsman and romney were actually rated as furtherest from their own ideology. rick san tore rum rated closest to the average republican. santorum rising in the polls. does he have a shot here. >> i don't know if he has a shot this late in the game. a lot of people like him because he is conservative. we have to look at the roller coast err we've been on over the course past few months. who is going to challenge romney and who is going to be that conservative?
everyone had their time at the top but santorum. maybe this is just santorum's time at the top. patti ann: chris? >> patty, let me interpret what gretchen said. what gretchen really means she hopes to god rick santorum doesn't have a shot at nomination. >> i didn't say that. >> he would be destroyed in a general election. i as democrat am praying, praying every day that rick santorum the republican nominee because just like he was thrown out of pennsylvania by the largest margin of defeat of any incumbent senator in the history of the united states senate, he will be drummed out of the country if he runs for president. >> you know what? >> democrats would not only take the presidency and take senate by large margin and house if he is nominee. >> give me a break. so many americans are unemployed right now. have highest unemployment. about to be $16 trillion debt and you think it will be a cakewalk to the presidency? i don't think so. 2012 will be tough. >> gretchen the economy is pointing in the right direction. >> because of christmas and
christmas hiring. you have people who are not going to be, who are not wanting to be employed anymore owe receive unemployment. they're dropping out of the job market. patti ann: let me ask you this, chris, one of the interesting things about this poll there was very high unfa mill airty factor. many could not rate the candidate ideologies because they didn't know enough about them. we have had dozens of debates, so much exposure to the candidates yet people don't even know what they stand for. >> people have to watch. >> people are not paying attention yet. they probably won't pay attention really until new hampshire. that is when people really get engaged. they will see something in iowa. see a little bit more in new hampshire and then they really start paying attention. when the field narrows down in the gop to two or three you will really start to see people understand who these people are. then they will start making a national evaluation of them versus president obama. i think gretchen could agree with me on that. patti ann: gretchen, last
word quickly. >> at end of the day 2012 who will win the middle. the middle is concerned about economic issues is concerned about jobs, economy and spending. whoever has the right message will win. >> patty, all the gop can do is root for bad economy. if the economy -- >> no one is rooting for a bad economy. >> i think you are. >> no, we're not. patti ann: thank you both for joining us today. >> thank you, patty. happy new year. gregg: remember the fox news, they can talk among themselves. fox news is america's election headquarters and your front row seat to politics. tune in, complete coverage of the iowa caucuses january 3rd beginning at 6:00 p.m. eastern time. also log on to foxnews.com/politics to get all the latest news on the candidates and from the campaign trail. patti ann: community activists and ministers taking on one of the world's top sports brands. [shouting]
[bleep]. [bleep]. patti ann: groups calling on nike and michael jordan to change the way they sell the highly sought-after air jordan sneakers. after scuffles nearly turned into riots over $200 shoes. sally macdonald of houston affiliate kirv has more. [ [shouting] >> reporter: might be-style scuffles nearly turned into riots over the $200 air jordans. >> nothing in this world will get you beat. i promise you. >> reporter: hard to explain the shopping madness had customers running to malls. >> i have never seen anybody get killed or jumped over a tv for some reason it is the shoes. >> these shoes always had a place of value in black life. >> reporter: it bothers malik ingram that the shoes bearing his idol's name are associated with violence. >> makes no statement. like he doesn't care. >> reporter: outside greens
point mall wednesday -- >> it is responsibility of michael jordan and nike to stand up and be a part of the solution right now it is a public safety issue with children wearing those sneakers. >> reporter: community activists and ministers called on the two to lower the price of the shoes and meet customer demand. >> people that can least afford these shoes are buying these shoes. what happens as a result of that? well there is more crime. >> reporter: nike issued this statement. quote, consumer safety and security is of paramount importance. we encourage anyone wishing to purchase our product to do so in a respectful and safe manner. >> i don't think it is their responsibility. honestly starts at home with parents. >> reporter: steven collect ad dozen pair of air jordans over the years. >> i stand in line and wait for my shoes. if i get them i get them. if i don't i go home. >> reporter: shoes aren't worth risking a life over. >> we're not trying to make it logical. we're simply saying it will take all of us collectively to take responsibility for making a change.
patti ann: and that was kriv's sally mcdonald in houston. gregg: we would like for you to celebrate new year's eve with us. in just two days the world's most famous party will be taking place right in the heart of times square. let's take a live look right now where the preps are underway for the big ball drop as we speak. they have got all the scaffolding out there. workers are working hard. guess what? this year megyn kelly and bill hemmer will be hosting fox's "all american new year". here is a sneak-peek who will be performing. ♪ . [safe a horse, ride a cowboy ♪. gregg: look at that, big and rich along with trace atkins and the cast of the tony award nominated show, "rock of ages" will join us for the countdown to 2012.
the fun begins 11:00 p.m. eastern time here on fox news channel. send us your new year's greeting. send us, utext space, your greeting to 32688. type a brief message and send it to 36288. love to hear from you. patti ann: a potential standoff in the persian gulf. iran threatening to shut down the strait of hormuz, a vital passageway for some of the world's oil tankers and now the u.s. is responding. ambassador john bolton is coming up next. gregg: the search for a missing mother stepping up after police fine her burned out car. what investigators are saying about it now.
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forget about sking. people say conditions on the roads are even worse. >> it's a lot of rain, a lot of water on the roads. >> it's horrible. we're trying to drive and we our windshield wipers on full blast and still can't see a thing. we had to actually pull over, take a break. >> we have a trunk full of wet clothes. layers of wet clothes. >> they are pulling us every which way. cars passing you and coming towards you can't help it you're swerving and scared you will get in a wreck. patti ann: several drivers have been hit by big rocks being disloned by the weather. fortunately no one has been hurt. gregg: iran telling the u.s. to back off saying washington is not in a position to tell tehran what to do in the strait of hormuz. iran is threatening to close off that critical passageway which allows 1/of the world's oil to market. the pentagon says such a move would not be tolerated.
let's bring in fox news contributor and former u.n. ambassador to the united nations ambassador john bolton. ambassador, always good to see you. do the air rain was -- iranians have the ability to seal off the waterway or is it merely bluster and rhetoric? >> it is bluster in the context of the nuclear weapons program and prospect of israeli military strike. the iranian navy could close the straits for a very brief period of time but our navy planned for this contingency for a long time and really the closure would be very minimal and iran would suffer enorm husband military damage. gregg: the u.s. navy has the fifth fleet based in bahrain. 20 plus ships, supported by combat aircraft. how exactly would the u.s. forces prevent that closure? would they create sort of a blockade to stop the iranian ships from shutting down the waterway? >> well, i think they would put the iranian navy on the
bottom of the sea very quickly. i think they would do enormous damage to iran's air force, its air defense capabilities and perhaps other units as well. the biggest risk would be mines that the iranians would try to lay in the straits but our minesweeping capability is such i think we would wrap that up fairly closely. i don't think even with a government like iran's that they're so irrational they really intend to do this simply against the threat of economic sanctions. gregg: in your judgement do they feel as though washington is weak and thus they sort of can get away with this bluster and bravado? >> i think they see a weak president and they see a weak europe too. both washington, brussels and other european capitals worried about the economy and fragile state of recovery and concerned that a spike of oil could doom that recovery. that is what the iranians are threatening against. in the white house and
several european capitals they may well succeed. gregg: 60% of the iran's revenue come from the crude oil sales. they are trying do you think the sanctions have a chance of altering tehran's nuclear behavior? >> no. they may increase the cost for iran to do business internationally. that's a good thing. i certainly support that but as long as countries like russia and china are prepared to assist iran in evading international sanctions, china is a huge purchaser of iranian oil, ultimately the sanctions will not have a significant effect. gregg: if iran tried to shut down the strait of hormuz would it lose critical support from china and russia or are they always going to support iran no matter what? >> that is why i think this is mostly bluff on iran's part because neither china nor russia really want to see that kind of disruption. from russia's point of view the higher price goes internationally as oil
exporting country the more they benefit too. gregg: would armed confrontation or even threat of it spike oil prices and do harm to an already fragile global economy? >> i think that is the big risk. oil trading often moves in what seems to thome in irrational directions. a threat of a cutoff of oil over a substantial period of time is obviously something people are concerned about. there are ways to avoid even a partially successful block aid by pumping the oil across saudi arabia and the like but the threat of confusion to the markets and therefore disruption of the very fragile economic recovery is something people are concerned about. gregg: look, there are parliamentary elections coming up i believe it is in march in iran. would closing the strait of hormuz and provoking a confrontation help or hurt the current ahmadinejad leadership? >> well that's one of the theories that this bluster by senior iranian military and civilian officials is really for domestic consumption.
i think there is something to that to show that given the problems of iran's own economy that they're taking tough steps but let's be clear. the problems of iran's economy have been there for 30 years. they're not caused by the economic sanctions. they're caused by 30 years of control of the economy by ayatollahs. gregg: ambassador john bolton, happy holidays. thanks for being with us. good to see you. >> thank you. happy new year. patti ann: coming up a treasure trove of u.s. weapons headed overseas. we'll tell you why 84 fighter jets are among the $60 billion worth of gearheaded to saudi arabia. gregg: plus turning the tables on man's best friend. we're going to tell about one lucky dog in north dakota who escaped certain death after taking an unexpected plunge. patti ann: ah. before you head out today, make sure you take fox with you. go to our website, foxnews.com/mobile and download our app. so you can get the latest headlines even if you're not by the tv.
♪ . gregg: you know what? that is a lucky day for jake the black lab. fargo, north dakota. firefighters rescuing the pooch from a frigid red river. he was found clinging to the ice and struggling to get back on solid ground. jake getting trouble somehow breaking free from his owner's invisible fence. he is reunited with his family. apparently jake will be okay. wow, that was a cold dip. patti ann: amajor immigration debate is brewing in illinois. cook county corrections refusing to honor requests to detain people whose immigration status may be in question. someone arrested could go
free even if they're in the country illegally. with lawmakers urging local governments to honor the federal requests, many are wondering how long this resistance can last. mike tobin live in chicago with the latest for us. hi, mike. >> reporter: hi, patti ann. if immigrations and customs enforcement or i.c.e., has interest in someone in the cook county jail, cook county elected to ignore the feds. if this person has done their time or made bail, he is going to walk out of the cook county jail even if the feds are saying hold onto that guy until we get there. authorities are searching for convicted child sex offender. police had him in custody. following his convict shun he was arrested for breaking into a home in which a 13-year-old girl was downstairs. the federal immigration and customs enforcement requested cook county jail hold him but cook county has elected to no longer honor i.c.e. detain are requests. so he made bail and
disappeared. >> this is our willie horton moment in cook county. it will be only a matter of time before we find someone who has been improperly released who would otherwise have been held by i.c.e. go out and commit some serious crime. >> reporter: commissioner timothy snyder voted against the ordinance refusing to cooperate with the federal government. but he was in the minority. >> we work for our constituents, not the federal government. >> reporter: the commissioner said feds are being lazy. if i.c.e. produce as warrant the county will hold a prisoner. >> we're protecting the fourth amendment standard. if you hold somebody without a charge you better hold them based on probable cause and based on a arrest warrant. >> reporter: four, republican senators, grass lid, cornyn, and sessions sent a letter to secretary napolitano to put pressure on local governments who don't cooperate with the federal policy. they urged to withhold
federal grant money unless cook county cooperates. so far there has been no response from the administration. patti ann: mike tobin reporting live for us, thank you. gregg: brand new poll numbers to show you. the results show head-to-head with mitt room any and president obama. we'll show you numbers and what it means for the rest of the race. patti ann: violence escalating in syria. government forces unleashing horrific attacks reportedly killing dozens of people. we'll have the latest on the new wave of bloodshed. [gunfire] [shouting] it's water from the drinking fountain at the mall. [ male announcer ] great tasting tap water can come from any faucet anywhere. the brita bottle with the filter inside.
one of those front runners is seeing a slide in the wrong direction. it's a brand new hour of "america's newsroom." gregg: newt gingrich seeing a slip in his poll numbers, but he says it's all based on misinformation. patti ann: the former speaker of the house speaking to fox earlier this morning. >> well, i think anybody who has eight or nine million dollars of negative advertising, much of it false, is going to slide for a while. we now have our ads up starting yesterday, their very positive, they're very direct, they talk about my record. there's a brand new michael reagan program up in which michael talks about how i worked with his father. we have a number of other things happening that are all positive and i'm, frankly, barn storming iowa making the case that they should, they shouldn't vote for the people that have been running the negative ads. patti ann: carl cameron joins us
live from sioux city. gingrich opening an office this morning, is it a little late for that? >> reporter: well, sure. obviously, we're just five days away from the caucuses, and to be opening headquarters here speaks to his organizational deficiencies. he's behind the curve when it comes to the get out the vote message needed. but he's also not giving ground to mitt romney or ron paul. he's still campaigning as though he's the front runner, he argues these attack ads should be rejected and the candidates who have allowed them to be run, to be arguing about ads in a presidential campaign is not a new tactic. it's not necessarily a particularly successful one, however. the problem is gingrich doesn't have a great deal of money, nor the organization to get his actual message out. he's got to fight the attttacksx that's what he's doing today. romney and ron paul leading the polls and gingrich, obviously, several points off the pace now. patti ann: so there was an
interesting ron paul endorsement last night. tell us more about that. >> reporter: a classic iowa piece of shenanigans at the very last minute. we were talking just yesterday about when would the type of thing happen that traditionally and historically does in iowa that sort of scrambles the race for a moment or more, and last night it was iowa state senator kent sorenson who walked out at ron paul's event and endorsed the texas congressman. endorsements are a dime of dozen, but not when you're talking about the chairman of the michele bachmann campaign in iowa. he called her yesterday and said he was going to stop being her chairman. it so stunned michele bachmann that she accused her former chairman of, essentially, saying that -- acknowledging that he was selling out for money. sorenson adamantly denies it, now it's a huge spat and an illustration of exactly the kind of thing that can really change the dynamics of the race.
it's a big boost for ron paul and, obviously, an embarrassing setback for michele bachmann. patti ann: carl cameron, thank you. gregg: the leaders of iowa's conservative evangelical movement now saying east michele bachmann or rick santorum needs to bow out. two influential pastors have asked both candidates to consider stepping aside in order to avoid splintering the evangelical vote. pastor kerry gordon telling "fox & friends" he'd like to see the two join forces. >> there does need to be a coalescing of these campaigns, and i think it would be easier for certain campaigns to set their egos aside and do what's best for the country rather than waiting necessarily on thousands of prospective voters at the caucus to do it for them. gregg: later on today we're going to get reaction from rick santorum himself, he'll be appearing lye on "america live" with megyn kelly at 2:00 eastern
time. patti ann: fox news is your home base for complete coverage of the iowa awe -- caucuses. special coverage beginning at 6 p.m. eastern time on tuesday, january 3rd, right here on fox news channel. gregg: billions of dollars worth of u.s. weapons headed to saudi arabia. the white house has just announced a massive arms deal that will provide the kingdom with 84 f-15 fighter jets along with helicopters, missiles and radar systems for a total of $60 billion. doug is traveling with the president, and he joins us live from honolulu, hawaii. doug, what will this sale mean for the balance of power in the middle east? >> gregg, good morning. it's going to have a pretty big impact. the official announcement comes in the about an hour and a half, but a senior white house official confirms this sale is, in fact, going to take place. it's a big boost to saudi arabia, and this is a clear warning to iran. the f-15 is not our most, most advanced fighter, but it's still
a pretty powerful jet, and saudi arabia's going to get a lot of them, 84 brand new f-15s, upgrades to 70 others, and this is a big deal worth about $30 billion. now, we talk about this being a warning to iran. iran has threatened to shut down the strait of hormuz, this is a potential choke point for the world's supply of oil, about a sixth of the world's oil flows through the strait. iran is threatening to do that. we've also heard a warning from the u.s. fifth fleet that it will not allow iran to close the strait. this deal was actually approved last year by congress. there were some concerns at the time about the degree to which this may upset the balance of power in the middle east, those concerns especially coming from israel, but that has changed based on recent actions from iran, and israel's expected to remain the dominant military power in the region. gregg: doug, is the white house going to be arguing here that, look, this sale will help us
here at home? >> yeah. you know, everything from the white house now is couched in terms of the economy and job creation. they will, no doubt, argue that this $30 billion sale will create jobs. it probably doesn't hurt that the f-15, i think, is manufactured in st. louis. missouri is a key swing state heading into 2012. gregg: doug live in honolulu, hawaii, thanks very much. patti ann: utter chaos in the syria. anti-government protesters running for cover as gunshots ring out. here's the scene on the street. [background sounds] patti ann: this is all amateur video from yesterday. a mission is underway to end the regime's crackdown on its people. leland vittert right now is live in jerusalem with the details for us.
leland, any change there, is the violence starting to calm? >> reporter: sadly, no, patti ann. the violence, if anything, may be getting a little bit worst. we just heard of a protest about 20,000 people outside of a mosque near damascus in a suburb there. government troops opened fire, at least four people kill inside that incident. and, of course, those numbers could certainly go higher. this is key for a couple of reasons. number one, it's outside of damascus n a suburb. that's something we haven't seep so far showing the protests are, indeed, spreading. the violence is pretty much par for the course, and already there are 60 of those arab league monitors in place, but as we can see from the video, the monitors are coming under fire just like the protesters. so the syrian government, clearly, is not keeping its promise to end this crackdown. patti ann: so, leland, looking long term where is this all going down the road? >> reporter: this is the kind of thing that is going to get much worse before it can get any
better. the protesters have long said these monitors are simply a ploy by bashar assad and his government to avoid any kind of condemnation by the world and further economic sanctions than what they've already had. we've been able to learn, though, that the general who is leading all of the observers not only is a friend of the president of syria, so you might have a little situation of the fox guarding the chicken coop, but not only that, he has a very questionable record on human rights himself. the other thing happening with all of these observers is that syrian intelligence officers or secret police are going everywhere with them, so the thought of rez dealts being able to actually tell them what's going on on the ground is almost impossible. patti ann: leland vittert live this jerusalem, thank you. gregg: the final stretch before the iowa caucuses, and some positive news for mitt romney, and some say it could seal the nomination for mr. romney. we're going to be talking to a member of his campaign staff about where he stands in the latest polls.
patti ann: a new book claims the former head of both the wars in iraq and afghanistan says he came this close to quitting his job. we'll tell you why. gregg: and a man being robbed in a home invasion turning the tables on the thieves trying to take his xbox, of all things. don't even try. >> he said put your hands behind your back and put my hands behind my back, and that's where my gun was.
gregg: fox news alert, a fatal, horrific 40-car pile-up in new orleans, two confirmed fatalities, at least 22 people taken to the hospital, 37 others complaining of injuries. i-10 west and east are closed. it happened at about 4 a.m. local time. there's no significant suggestion here of what caused this thing. again, 4 a.m., so it was completely dark out there, but there may have been fog in the region. we just don't know yet. we are endeavoring to get some
videotape from the scene, so we'll let you know. patti ann: presidential candidate mitt romney gaining some major traction in iowa's crucial swing state five days before those caucuses. according to a real clear politics poll, it's an average of recent iowa polls, romney trails ron paul by less than 1%. gingrich is in third place. meanwhile, some political experts show a strong showing in iowa could seal the nomination. gayle is the communications director for mitt romney's campaign, and she joins now live. thank you for being with us. >> thank you, patti ann. patti ann: new analysis suggests if romney places second in iowa and wins in new hampshire, he's got the operation sewn up, would you agree? >> it's still pretty early. there's still five days left
before tuesday's caucuses in iowa and then another week after that before we have the voting in new hampshire. o we're not taking anything for granted, and i think people understand now this is not just a single contest to the nomination, this is a very long process. so the important thing for us is to, is that we are ready for a very long process. this election is not going to be over next week, probably next month. we are ready to, um, have a very long process, perhaps even going into february, march, maybe even april. patti ann: as your candidate noted, the polls are all over the place, but they are definitely showing a surge by rick santorum. earlier we spoke with democratic strategist chris hahn, and he said he hopes santorum wins because he's way too far to the right to win the general. do you agree? >> well, what i would say about senator santorum, he's always been a strong competitor, and we viewed him as such. but the differences between rick santorum and governor romney really comes down to background. governor romney spent his career in the private sector while senator santorum spent his
career in washington, so voters are now looking at that, and they're going to make a decision whether or not they want somebody who has spent his time in the real world economy or somebody who's spent their time in washington. patti ann: so at the same time art laffer, noted economist, is endorsing newt gingrich today saying he is the one with the economic policies that will get us out of this lingering economic crisis. what do you say to that? >> well, i would say that, um, governor romney has put out his economic proposal, it's a very comprehensive jobs plan, um, and the jobs plan that he's put forward is not only comprehensive and very detailed, but it's something that is very doable and could make it through the congress. senator, or excuse me, newt gingrich's jobs proposal has been under some criticism in that it wouldn't be able to pass the congress. we feel very good about governor romney's jobs plan and its ability to make it through
congress and create a real difference in the economy. patti ann: some of the recent polls in iowa have ron paul leading. what's your comment on ron paul? >> well, the polls are going to go up and down. we always knew this was going to come down to the wire. there's been polls that have shown ron paul up, there's polls that show newt gingrich up, and there's polls that show mitt romney up. so that's just the nature of polling. patti ann: all right. one of the criticisms we've heard frequently about mitt romney is that he may be a good manager, but he's not much of a leader. he begs to differ in a recent interview with "the wall street journal" saying that he does have those leadership qualities. but that criticism lingers. what do you have to say to that? >> well, i would say take a look at his background. governor romney, of course, spent most of his time in the private sector, and that's where he learned how jobs come and how jobs go, but then he also went on to, um, to save the olympic games in utah. so he does have that leadership
experience. and then, of course, he went on to turn around massachusetts when he was governor. he came in to massachusetts as governor, and he turned around a very troubling situation there when it comes to the unemployment in the state at the time. he was able to create tens of thousands of jobs through his policies, so i would disagree, and i would think most people disagree with that criticism. governor romney's a very strong leader, and that's why people are looking to elect him president. patti ann: gayle, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, patti ann. gregg: it was the worst oil disaster in american history, it started with an accident that killed 11 men, and today the wheels of justice may be turning for the gulf oil catastrophe. patti ann: she was last seen leaving a christmas party last wednesday, but no one has seen or heard from this police dispatcher or since. and what their colleagues just found out has them very concerned about this mother of three. >> somebody, please, call, we
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patti ann: developing now in "america's newsroom," "the new york times" apologizing for sending out a mass e-mail to its entire database saying subscriptions had been canceled. the message was meant for just 300 people, not the 8.6 million who received it. officials say the site of 9/11 receives about 10,000 visitor even day. and the largest collection of artifacts salvaged from the titanic is going up for auction, more than 5500 items including fine china and portions worth an
estimated $89 million. gregg: awaiting the first criminal charges in connection with the catastrophic oil disaster in the gulf of mexico. prosecutors set to focus on houston-based engineers and at least one supervisor, maybe slapping them with felony charges for the accident that killed 11 workers and soiled thousands of miles of american coastline. if convicted, they could face up to five years behind bars. sharon is a defense attorney, she joins us, joey jackson, former prosecutor, good to see you both. joey, let me start with you, and let's talk about potential criminal charges against individuals, not against bp as an entity here. >> sure. gregg: i mean, if that happens they would reportedly be filing false information or providing false information. does that remind you of the old richard nixon adage he was heard in his later years as saying it's not the crime that kills you, it's the cover-up?
>> it absolutely does, gregg. this is a disaster of unmitigated proportions, and let's talk about why it's significant that they do prosecute. time will tell and, ultimately, as you know, gregg, there's been an 18 month investigation which really started on april 10th of 2010 which is when this began. we're talking about the 13 people killed, there are 17 people injured, 53,000 barrels a day that were gushing out into the gulf coast, that took 87 days to stem the tide of it. you have businesses shattered, lives shattered, and if it turns out this was a result of falsifying information so you could get permits, then people need to be held accountable, and that's what should occur. gregg: sharon, providing false identification shows intent. prosecutors have to show that those two file intended to mislead or desue. isn't -- deceive. isn't that a very difficult thing to show?
>> yes, it is, and you're talking about people who were doing their job. i mean, what is their incentive to lie? they don't have an incentive to lie. they have an incentive to do their job, to do what's right for the company so that the company can make money. it's just a sad situation, but it was an accident. that's what it was, it was an accident, plain and simple. >> i don't -- >> i think people, people in this country don't want to just let that kind of thing be just an accident. greg greg hey, joey -- >> somebody's got to be criminally responsible. gregg: is it possible here, joey, that prosecutors are really just using this public threat of individual charges as a way to intimidate or pressure some of the individuals to provide information and cooperate with the government? >> well, you know what, gregg? i was a prosecutor, and i never did that. [laughter] i mean, yes, there's an element of that we know that does go on because then people are more inclined too cooperate, to do the things they need to do. we know there's a lot of civil
informations going on here -- investigations going on here, there's a civil trial, as you know, that's commencing in february. so that could be a wu product of it -- by-product of it. if there were people indeed providing information so the drilling could continue and there was significant amount of fraud here with regard to if they continued to drill, things would happen as it did, when you have a rig that explodes and that creates horrific environmental conditions for all, then they absolutely need to be held accountable. gregg: what they may eventually do, and it is actually expected, is file, sharon, criminal charges against bp itself. what's the difference for prosecutors in terms of their burden of proof between negligent behavior which isn't criminal and criminally culpable behavior? >> well, you've got to show intent. you've got to show intent to do an act. gregg: how about recklessness? >> recklessness, reckless endangerment, negligence can
rise to the level of a crime. but, again, i think it's hard to prove. yeah, maybe the company made mistakes, maybe the company has problems that they need to get fixed and hammered out. gregg: but, joey -- >> but that doesn't mean they committed a crime. gregg: joey, it may come down to whether or not there was sufficient pressure safety on the well, but look, the best we can tell there are no federal regs on the proper measurement of safety on the pressure of a well. so can't the defense simply say, hey, you know, we have no guidelines here, it's a matter of subject, and that's very -- judgment, and that's very subjective. >> you hit the nail on the head when you asked sharon about the issue of recklessness. there may not be specific guidelines, however, that notwithstanding you have an obligation, a responsibility to insure safety. they are in the business of doing that, gregg. we would expect and anticipate
that they don't consciously disregard a risk and that they keep everyone safe. so irrespective of the actual intent, i think if you have the recklessness and the recklessness is such that there were things disregarded so they can drill and make money and increase their profit margins at the expense of all concerned -- >> no, i think that has the exact opposite effect. look how much this is costing them. it's costing them millions of dollars. >> it should. >> whatever money you think they may have saved -- >> but, sharon -- >> no, no, let me finish. >> sure. gregg: real fast, last point. >> their ceo resigned, they have millions of dollars in cleanup, lost equipment, they've got civil penalties, i mean, come on -- >> but this was not anticipated at the time they were doing it. >> no, it wasn't anticipated, but -- gregg: all right. >> -- you know, you're saying if they're reckless, then they need to be held liable. >> absolutely. people were gone, lives were lost, businesses were damaged, people are dead here, there needs to be accountability, and they should be prosecuted.
gregg: i've got to leave it at that. >> that doesn't mean that there's a crime. >> bye, sharon. gregg: thank you. >> thank you. gregg: bye. patti ann: bombshell revelations about one of america's top military commanders. it's four-star general david petraeus, a new book claiming he almost quit over one of president obama's major foreign policy decisions. gregg: plus, brand new poll just out showing just how a head-to-head matchup between president obama and mitt romney might shape up. you're going to see the numbers right here on "america's newsroom". >> my message is out there loud and clear. i want people to recognize this is an election not just about replacing a president, it's an election about the soul ofrece america. ettlement or annuity over 10 or even 20 years? call imperial structured settlements. the experts at imperial can convert your long-term payout into a lump sum of cash today.
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patti ann: this is a fox news arert, a fatal 40-car pileup in new orleans this morning. at least two people killed,22 others taken to the hospital. interstate 10 both west and east closed, and we right now will have sound from a man who was involved in the accident who explains what he saw. >> you could hear the skids and everything, you know, squealing behind us and the crashes, and then apparently one of the guys, somebody was killed back there. that's pretty much all i know. lack of seeing was what caused it. that smoke from that burning, it's not as thick as it was this morning. you couldn't see.
that's, that's what caused all of it, you just couldn't see. patti ann: the accident happening at 4 a.m., almost the middle of the night in the dark. and, again, obviously, according to that witness major visibility problems. a couple of 18 wheelers involved in this accident, a 40-car pileup and, again, it has closed interstate 10 in both directions in the new orleans, and we're keeping an eye on this story. we'll bring you the developments as they come in. gregg: general david petraeus so angry with the president's decision to quickly draw down the surge forces in afghanistan, he nearly quit. now, that's a claim that appears in a forthcoming biography of the former afghanistan war commander. doug mckelway joins us now from our d.c. bureau. doug, how much of a revelation is it that petraeus almost resigned over differences with president obama?
>> reporter: gregg, this allegation that he almost resigned is, indeed, new. that has not been previously disclosed. the cia today is saying that director petraeus has publicly stated that he never contemplated resignation. but the fact that he had differences to the president and objected to the pace of the drawdown is, indeed, well known. he said as much june 23rd before the u.s. senate. >> the ultimate decision was a more aggressive formulation, if you will, in terms of the timeline than what we had recommended. again, that is understandable in the sense that there are broader considerations beyond just those of a military commander. >> reporter: general petraeus also told senator levin in that very same hearing, quoting, troopers tonight get to quit, and i don't think their commander should contemplate that, end quote. he ultimately said it would be a huge grandstanding move with
huge political ramifications. gregg: what else do we learn, if anything, about petraeus in this book? >> reporter: we learn that petraeus' fist act as leader of the campaign after the forced resignation of general stanley mcchrystal was to lift the use of force if civilians were nearby. author bob woodward quoting petraeus criticizing the white house in very raw language telling his inner circle after a glass of wine, quoting now, the administration was -- expletive -- with the wrong guy. later expressed his displeasure to all of them, meaning the white house, for braying his confidence, but he knew he was ultimately responsible for making that remark. the book also suggests that one men to have encouraged him to live up to the growing mythology that the troops built up around petraeus. you become part of the legend.
gregg: doug mckelway, thanks very much. patti ann: fox news alert, brand new polls out now showing the biggest lead any republican candidate has posted against president obama. according to rasmussen reports, mitt romney now beats mr. obama by 6% in a head-to-head matchup 45 to 39%. pollster cat rasmussen -- scott rasmussen joins us now. thank you for being with us. >> patti ann, it's great to be with you. i do think you have to keep these numbers in context. mitt romney is the only republican who's been ahead more than once against president obama, but for the most part, the two men have been pretty even throughout all the polling. and the other thing that we see in this is the importance of the tea party and can they coalesce behind a candidate like mitt romney? among people who are not a part of the tea party, the president leads by 12 points. but 75% of tea party members say given a choice between mitt romney and president obama, thai
going with romney. -- they're going with romney. patti ann: it is his biggest lead yet, in fact, the biggest lead any republican has posted. but we should say that romney's level of support is 45%. he has earned that level of support before. the reason for the or bigger gap is that obama has dropped to a new low of 39% against romney. you say that's not very significant. he was at 40% prior. >> that's right. and, look, the reality is it's still primarily about the president. if economy gets a whole lot better between now and next november, if other things break his way, the president's support will go up. if the economy heads in the other correction direction, it will go down. mitt romney in polls right now is the strongest republican against the president, but the election is still primarily all about barack obama. patti ann: and speaking of that, the question was asked to the people who were polled about whether or not the country is moving in the right direction. only 20% say it is. that is down from 22%.
72% say we're on the wrong track, that's up from 71%. not much change there, but still a very high percentage of people who say we're moving the wrong way. >> that's right. these numbers are very similar to the way they were at the end of the bush administration, and people were looking for president obama to come in and turn things around. early in his administration, in may of 2009, the number who said we were moving in the right direction moved up to 40%. it's been heading down ever since. and right now a 20%, you know, that's not a number the white house wants to see. patti ann: yeah. we are seeing on the republican side a surge now by senator rick santorum. what do you make of that? >> well, part of it is the fact that rick santorum has never been the front runner, so he's never undergone the withering attacks that newt gingrich has gone through and rick perry went through. ron paul has even had his own vetting experience in the last couple of weeks. rick santorum is someone that the social conservatives can feel comfortable with, they like
him, and i think it is a little bit of an expression of resistance to mitt romney among iowa caucus goers. patti ann: yeah, romney's numbers not really boosting, although he's got that big lead now, his numbers are not gaining as much as some people thought they would by now, so it remains what will happen in five days in iowa. scott rasmussen sharing with us his very latest polls, and you can find more of those on rasmussen reports. thank you, as always, for joining us. >> thank you, patti ann. gregg: why pay tax and rent on a restaurant when you could, well, be a garage gourmet for a fraction of the cost? iron chef wannabes from coast to coast who have figured it out with the food truck phenomenon rolling into nearly every major city in the nation, but sit-down spots are steamed saying the culinary carts are taking a big bite out of the bottom lines. adam houseley's live in san
francisco, so what's going on with the grub there? >> reporter: you know, san francisco one of the meccas for food carts in the country, and last december the city here decided to streamline the process for trucks to be able to, basically, get their permit pretty quickly, pretty easily and have the opportunity to park in seven different locations. that could be one truck moving around or seven different trucks. when you talk to the trucks, they say this is a great process. it's all about competition. some of them have brick and mortar restaurants and do take into account where they park, and some of these trucks are doing very well. take a listen. >> we're not taking away from somebody. if somebody wants to sit at a traditional restaurant, their going to go eat their food. people want to run up quickly, get in and out -- >> reporter: and once again these trucks like that one right there, the curry truck, does not park right in front of another restaurant. in fact, they take into account because they have their own brick and mortar location. gregg: what are the brick and mortar restaurant owners trying to do here to compete?
>> reporter: and that's the issue because while that truck takes into account where it parks, there are other trucks that try to park right in front of these restaurants. you have some brick and mortar locations here in the city that average about $7,000 a month in rent. they also have to pay city taxes, they have the highest minimum wage in the country now at more than $10 an hour, and then you have this truck that pulls up for three hours right in front of it and takes a spot. some brick and mortar restaurants aren't happy about that at all. >> they are simply cutting into our customer base, and the city's basically attempting to further subsidize food trucks with complete disregard to our interests. so that's what's happening right now. >> reporter: and these food trucks, gregg, don't have to pay city minimum wage because they're coming in from outside of the city, they don't have to pay a lot of the same taxes, they're only paying $9,000 per year, that's it, and the local restaurants here say that's just
not fair, gregg. gregg: it may not be fair, but it's pretty smart on the cart operators' part. >> reporter: not so smart on the city operations though. their losing money. gregg: good point. adam houseley, thanks very much. you know, around here at fox news there must be 50 of these food carts in like a two or three block radius. aye never actually eaten at any of them. patti ann: some of them are good. there's a lot of ethnic food. some of it is. new clues in the case of a missing mom. her car was found completely burned, we'll have the latest. gregg: plus, an ohio man taking matters into his own hands after three thieves burst into his home.
hunting for a suspect after three thieves burst into a man's home after seeing a craig's list posting for a special edition xbox. but the robbers were in for a surprise. >> said put your hands behind my back, and put my hands behind my back, and that's where my gun was. as soon as he turned his head, i stood up and fired two shots at him. patti ann: two of the suspects were busted after checking into a hospital, but a third is still on the run. gregg: the search for a missing mother of three has been stepped up after arkansas police found her burned-out car in some woods. donna is a police dispatcher, there's her picture. she works in the hot springs village, and friends say they last saw her on december 21st as she was leaving a christmas party there. nobody has been able to get in touch with her since. joining me now, rod wheeler, former homicide detective in washington d.c. rod, good to see you. it cannot be a good sign, i
would assume, when you find somebody's torched vehicle, right? >> exactly. you know, gregg, in these types of cases that's actually the telltale sign, if you will, that something bad has probably happened to the vehicle's owner. just so the viewers know, this area of hot springs village is only about 38 miles from the city of little rock, arkansas. and the reason i say that, it's very significant because this individual that could have done something to this woman, assuming something has happened to her, could have easily made his way or her way to the little rock area. and what i can tell you is that the state police in the state of arkansas have gotten involved. i actually spoke with a source of mine yesterday in law enforcement out there, and you know what, gregg? he explained to me this area. this area where the vehicle was found is in a huge, huge park area, a lot of trees, a lot of shrub erie. and for somebody to take that vehicle and burn it up in that area, they would have to have some knowledge about this area. gregg: yeah. it would have to have been deliberate. and then you factor in the fact,
rod, look, this is a mother of three children, and it's just before christmas. i mean, the likelihood of her voluntarily vanishing would be remote. but can you from a burned-out vehicle glean any valuable forensic evidence that could help? >> yes, you can, and that's an excellent question. the technology that we have now as far as investigating burned-out vehicles, burned-out homes has really advanced a whole lot, gregg. there are some methodologies that we can use to get dna evidence even from a vehicle that's been burned up, believe it or not, and other types of evidence as well. the other thing that's very significant about a burned-out vehicle is that we can quickly determine what type of device was used to incinerate the vehicle, whether or not it was a cooking oil, fuel oil, something like that which also would provide significant clues. gregg: well, there are no suspects, right? but a person of interest? >> well, the police have not named a person of interest. now, i have been following this
case pretty closely, and just so that the viewers know that donna was last seen leaving the christmas party with her boyfriend. now, supposedly, she dropped her boyfriend off at his father's house, and that's the last person that's seen donna. and what i can tell you is that in these types of investigations, the last person to have been known with the missing person is typically the person of interest. doesn't mean they're the suspect, but definitely a person of interest, and the police are going to continue to talk to him and everyone, gregg, that was actually at that christmas party that night. gregg: given the location of where the vehicle was found, and as you describe it based on your conversation with law enforcement there, a huge area, fairly rougher the rape. it's -- terrain. it's going to take a while to search that region, correct? >> you're exactly right, it's going to take a long time. where the vehicle was found is actually only about ten minutes from where the christmas party was located. however, the vehicle was actually pulled up in this back
road inside this park. where this park is located, there's a huge river, huge lake as well so, obviously, they're going to have to probably bring in some police divers to search the lake and other areas of the park, and it may take some time, gregg. gregg: well, we are certainly hoping for the best. the tip line was on the screen, maybe you can put it back up there. there's the number to call, 501-922-0011. rod wheeler, thanks very much for your insights. >> thank you, gregg. patti ann: and "happening now" is coming up at the top of the hour, and jon scott joins us with a preview. jon: hi, thank you. just five days to go until the iowa caucuses, and there's new polling to tell you about. who's rising, whose star is fading, what does it mean to the primaries that follow? larry sabato is peering into his crystal ball, and he'll join us. we'll also talk with a ron paul campaign adviser and senator chuck grassley of iowa. plus a jet plane crashes, flips
over and bursts into flames, and everybody onboard survives. we'll tell you more. and a medical breakthrough for the e.r. that could save your life. we'll see you in just a few minutes, "happening now." patti ann: all right, jon, looking forward to it, thanks. well, you have probably heard the expression i feel your pain, well, some twins claim they actually do feel each other's pain. lauren was nearly killed by an airplane propeller, her twin sister now say she's been hurting too. is that even possible? we'll talk about it. gregg: and a rose bowl tradition may have actually saved a man's life when a college ball player came to his aid during dinner at larry's beef bowl in beverly hills. we're going to hear from the hero next. >> you never want to have to use something like that, but the guy was struggling, and the guy that was helping him didn't seem like he was getting the job done.
gregg: welcome back. a college football player saving the life of a fan during a special rose bowl dinner at a california restaurant, an offensive lineman for the oregon ducks suddenly jumps into action after a man started choking on a rib. the player, mark a is sper, giving him the heimlich maneuver (the first -- >> the first was a test heave because the guy seemed a little old, i didn't want to break his ribs. test heave, he seemed like he could handle a full force heave, so i popped it out. gregg: wow. he learned how to do the heimlich while he was a boy scout. the oregon ducks taking on the university of wisconsin badgers next monday in the rose bowl game, should be a good one. patti ann: well, many twins say they share a deep connection with their sibling, but is it possible they can feel each other's pain? well, yes, according to lauren
scruggs' mother. lauren, you may recall, lost a hand and an eye just recently when she schedulely walked into a plane propeller -- accidentally walked into a plane propeller. lauren's twin sister britney is sharing the pain from her sister's injuries. dr. steven garner is with new york methodist hospital, he joins us to tell us whether or not this is really possible, and i should menace at the outset -- mention at the outset that i am an identical twin, and i'm a little skeptical having never experienced that. >> when i first heard about it, i thought it's not true, it's nutty, but there are instances of not even twins, husband and wife. when the wife is pregnant, the husband gets symptoms and has a rising of female hormones in the his body. so he, by watching the wife, he has sympathy pain for somebody he loves. and in the case of twins, i'm sure they love one another very much, and there are actually
mirror neurons in the brain that help one to pick up others' actions and feelings, and that's how we learn to talk. your brain, your arm actually has a subconscious will to move. what happens here is that she says the malady that the sister has and begins to imitate it subconsciously, and that's why she gets the twitching, she has pain in the same arm that she had. it's not that farfetched. patti ann: that's actually interesting when you put all that science behind it. still, one of her symptoms is this twitching in the same eye that her sister lost. you know, an eye twitch can be the result of stress. i mean, couldn't she just be so distraught over seeing what her sister's going through that she just coincidentally gets an eye twitch in the same eye? >> absolutely, people can become blind. they go into the emergency room, and they think they're blind, and all the tests show they can see. so twitching is not that farfetched either. people who have survivor guilt,
and this could be an instance, you know, why couldn't that have been me, they actually imitate the same symptoms sub consciously and given to feel if it was a terrorist shooting, they begin to have the same type of post traumatic stress and same maladies. so that, again, is not that farfetched. what is farfetched is i hear a guy in california has a heart attack in the papers and then his brother in the new york area clutches his chest at the same time not knowing what's happening. now, those are anecdotes that you really can't back up with scientific experiments or explanations, but these can be backed up. i mean, functional mri and pet scans are actually showing when the person, he or she thinks they have pain, that area of the brain begins activating. patti ann: that is fascinating. they quote raymond brant who is also the editor of twins' world magazine as saying i have to believe there is this phenomenon in at least a quasi-scientific
sense of one twin sensing the other's pain, the injured twin sending a signal to the other twin, but also that the other twin is a receptor and open always wondering how my twin is. >> see, that's where i agree with you, that's a little farfetched. when you're sending signals through the air to someone else, that's an anecdote. it's hard for someone to say it didn't happen, but my judgment would be against that. but as far as twitching of the eye and pain in the arm of a loved one, i think that's plausible. patti ann: but it's interesting because you're saying it's not limited at all to a twin, it could be a husband, it could be, i guess, a regular sip ring -- sibling. >> when you're with someone, you finish the sentences, you begin to talk like that person. why isn't it possible you begin to imitate the same pains and your brain shows you're actually having pain? patti ann: fascinating. thank you for joining us. >> you're welcome. patti ann: gregg? gregg: four candidates, four different scenarios. larry sabato looking into his
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>> one man cause as massive traffic jam in the desert without even driving a car. a hiker fell about 30 feet into red rock canyon outside las vegas. he broke his ankle and needed an airlift rescue. that completely shut down red rock loop. traffic backed up for miles at the popular tourist destination. the hiker is expected to make a full recovery. gregg: can you feel the excitement? >> oh, yeah. gregg: yes. counting down to new year's eve and fox news channel is the place to celebrate. megyn kelly and bill hemmer hosting the all american knew year along with musical guests trace atkins and big and rich and the cast of the broadway hit, "rock of ages". ahead of the show send us your new year's greeting. send us utex plus your greeting. leave a spacean